I came across the Coca Cola Company's VP Supply Chain, Jeff Markey at one of our customer council meetings where he gave an excellent presentation on what he called their Project Contour - a project to get total end-to-end visibility throughout their supply chain.
I reached out to Jeff subsequently to ask if he'd be willing to share that info with the Digital Supply Chain podcast audience, and he said he'd be delighted to, and so here we are!
I think you can tell we both had an excellent time putting this podcast together - I loved Jeff's expression "the speed of need". Enjoy.
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You've got machine learning, you've got artificial intelligence where it can really help.You've got great visibility from the shelf.Ingredients, you're getting the right beverages to the right place at the right time, the right price or the consumers as they want it. And you're doing all this with the speed of need.We label that as true supply chain orchestration.Tom Raftery:
Good morning, good afternoon or good evening wherever you are in the world.This is the Digital Supply chain podcast.The number one podcast focussing on the digitisation of Supply chain.And I'm your host,Global vice president of SAP.Tom Raftery.Hi, everyone, welcome to the Digital Supply chain podcast.My name is Tom Raftery with SAP and with me on the show today, I have Jeff.Jeff, would you like to introduce yourself?Jeff Markey:
Yeah. Hey, Tom, thanks.Thanks for having me today.I'm Jeff Markey.I'm with the Coca-Cola Company. I've been a supply chain practitioner for over 25 years now. I spent the bulk of my career either in operations so our plants and manufacturing operations across a number of our beverage portfolio, water,juice, tea,been in our bottling organisation.And about halfway through I started realising that I really like systems and processes and transformation work.So about halfway into my career, I got into large scale transformations across our ecosystem.So nowadays that means digitising our network supply chain. So that's what I'm really getting into now.Tom Raftery:
OK. And you gave a presentation to our customer council meeting their back at the...was it the start of September where you talked about a big project that Coca-Cola had undertaken in their supply chain? Do you want to talk to me a little bit about that?Jeff Markey:
Sure. I'd love to tell.I think I was actually back in July.Tom Raftery:
This is an everyday site. Every day and every day feels the same as the one before from the one following.It's just it's one of those weird years that it has.Jeff Markey:
Yeah, but you're right.Absolutely.That's a good memory.So the Coca-Cola Company is on a journey to really become a total beverage company.What does that mean?That means we want to meet our consumers nutrition needs all throughout the day.So not just, you know,soft drinks or water or juices, but, you know,in the morning, you know, coffee, tea.So we really expanding our beverage portfolio to meet that. If you need hydration, energy,whatever you're looking for throughout the day, we want to make sure that we've got beverages that can meet that need.So as a part of meeting that strategy.We recognise that our current supply chain operations within our ecosystem.So not just company owned operations, but also our franchise partners in the bottling systems, really needed to do a large scale transformation to meet that. Now, the fun thing is, is that the technology has evolved dramatically in the last five years to really help us do that.So we started a programme that we named after our iconic bottle called Programme Contour.So it matches the shape of the Coca-Cola bottle contour shape, that iconic shape.And that is what I lead for the company on our digital transformation of the supply chain to really help enable that total beverage strategy.So what are some of the key elements that we look for? So I always get asked, what does it mean to digitise the networks supply chain to deliver with speed and efficiency?And I would say, well,I'm not sure exactly what that means.I know we're trying to solve some problems.Tom Raftery:
And so we kind of start with that is good supply chain folks.I grew up in the plants and I mentioned to you.And so it's like, well,how do we go about solving those problems,digitising that solution with the technology that's available to us and then publishing that into the cloud so we can share it across our ecosystem.So it sounds pretty simple, but that's really what it's all about.It's about solving those pain points to get us from order to delivery.And a lot of that has to do with visibility throughout that supply chain ecosystem.Tom Raftery:
OK.I mean that as you say, that sounds very simple, but what does it mean in effect?I mean, what what what do you mean by visibility across the system?Jeff Markey:
Yes, it's a great question. So it starts with.Digitising our core with the S4 platform.Right. We're currently operating in SAP's ECC environment and we really want to move to that in-memory cloud based solution with the S4 architectures.We feel like that starts and that gives us a lot of speed and it helps us start to simplify and standardise our environment right from the beginning.So we've been in that ECC landscape for over 20years.And as you can imagine,we've heavily customised it and made it very difficult to do things simply and standardise around the world and to meet that total beverage strategy.So by resetting that core, it gives us a whole new opportunity to refresh our data and make it much more able to serve us in our mission to reach that strategy with our supply chain.And so when we when we reset that, we then want to surround that environment with best in breed tools.Right. That help us with planning,forecasting,transportation,everything you think from a buy, make, move,sell, deliver across the supply chain.And so it's transforming the core that resets that that data and that infrastructure and then building best in class around that and then being able to collaborate across our ecosystem where we've got different partners, different ownership from our suppliers to the transportation folks to deliver our products across our franchise partners and really be able to think about things from the shelf back to ingredient to being able to see what do I have, where can I get it to where it needs to be, get it in the consumer hands for what they're looking for.So if you're if you're really looking for a specific milk product or a tea product at that time of day, that I've got the right product in the right place at the right price so that you'll grab it.And that will really help us achieve our overall strategy of being a total beverage company across our entire portfolio.Tom Raftery:
Sounds very simple.I mean...Jeff Markey:
There's a lot of fun,I'll tell you that.Tom Raftery:
How many ECC instances have you how many S4 instances will you have.I'm sure it's not one for one.Jeff Markey:
No. For for the company. Actually, it will be. Now, we have many company codes,obviously, inside that instance, but so far the company will will have one. So for our own supply chain assets, we're gonna go from our current ECC single instance to a single instance of the S4. Now, that sounds simple enough,right?If you think about the ecosystem I just described,there's a lot of other ECC instances across our bottling partners,our suppliers.There's also other tools, right, that in the marketplace.So I have to really be tool agnostic as I think about how I connect to generate that visibility.And so we're thinking about really kind of a publisher subscribed model, which I'm sure you've heard often. I get all of our data standardised and simplified, really,from not just the shelf where we get good market data and we've got images, but really all the way through the transactional data that starts to occur as that beverage is purchased. We get that transactional data up through the supply chain, whether it's at home, direct to consumer or it might be ecommerce, it might be far from home or near home. It might be coming through our general trade or our retail outlets or for some of our big customers that folks are going to ordering online. You're really getting that transactional data all the way up through there as well.And if we can get that and standardise and publish into a lake,we can then subscribe to that data with all these different systems.So we don't have to really be worried about having specific point to point connexions where the systems need to be similar, because that is an impossible dream for the same system and tools throughout.But I can develop data standards and simplify that and get that standardised.You have governance around that which we believe is really the key unlock because then we can subscribe to that standardised lake and we can feed these other systems to generate that instability and see it across the entire ecosystem.Tom Raftery:
I mean, I was obviously very facetious when I said some simple at the last time. But I mean,the complexity of his Jeff is just ridiculous.I mean, you've got lots of different beverages that you sell. I don't know how many.Probably in the low hundreds at least you've got, again, low hundreds of markets you're selling into.So, you know, thousands of beverages,200 countries.I don't know how many languages.I mean, they did the audacity of the project is just mind boggling in itself.How do you sleep at night?Jeff Markey:
Well, there's a lot of expressions associated with that. That's a great point.You know, you eat the elephant one bite at a time.Or really what we're doing is building in concentric circles or Lego blocks or whatever part of the world you're in where that kind of analogies make sense to you.And so if you think about just getting the core right and we're doing that in small steps as well, then we're going to build capabilities in concentric circles around. So we don't arrive at the destination state, as I've described it to.Tom Raftery:
Tomorrow it does take us some time.For sure. It's a multi-year journey as we add those.As you can imagine, a lot of the challenges now really are isn't the technology.A lot of what I've described is available in the market,including adding additional layers to deal with the complexity around machine learning and artificial intelligence,which we know we can continue to layer that those technologies around these fundamental changes to really speed that up and simplify things in the complex space that you just described.But you can't get there either. I've got to do all the basic blocking and tackling, put the foundation for the concrete of the house.There's a lot of analogies that we use describe before you start trying to put the roof on or at a pool at the top or a party deck or whatever you're trying to do. Like, you can't just jump to those.You've really got to reset that foundation and build it. So it's a you recognise that if you're running a marathon,that is the journey. You can't sprint all the way. You've got to crawl, walk, run.People use a lot of different ways to describe it. I see I get comfortable and I sleep at night because we can reach success.One concentric circle,one block at a turn.The thing that does challenge me the most is when I am pouring concrete the foundation of the new building, it becomes concrete.And so that can be difficult to undo if you miss a step. So if you're getting to the top and you are finally starting to add the AI and the machine learning and gain insights and really groundbreaking and exponential change at that point, did you miss something in your data structure early on that can be really difficult to put back in? So we're trying to ensure that our commercial strategy is developed as possible for the total beverage company to inform all those different.I talked about the B2B models of the direct to consumer models, know that all those have kind of maybe not cast in stone, but a little bit less flexible than they are right now so that they inform all the work that we're driving out on the Supply chain side. And we don't miss something deep within that infrastructure as we do the reset at the digital core. So that's the one thing as we move to next year,turning on the S4environment for us,we'll start to build the concentric circles around it. And we are we've we've got to make sure that we don't leave a gap there.That's probably the biggest challenge.You know, with that in mind, what if Coca-Cola corporate or whatever decides, OK,we're buying a shoe company now or, you know, obviously picking a ridiculous example.But, you know, I add another product to the system, whatever it is,whether it's sandwiches or, you know, whatever,how how how flexible is the system you're building to be able to deal with situations like that?That's a super question,I don't know about shoe company if you haven't seen it and the news, we just want actually building off of our Topo Chico sparkling water line,which is hugely popular in Latin America.And here in the US,we've created a hard seltzer product that just launched in Latin America and has the U.S. launch scheduled for next year in 2021.So we're getting into partnerships in beverages that are really kind of pushing on that total beverage portfolio that I talked about. So there's new supplier collaborations that are required across as there's new deliveries,there's new partners in the manufacturing space or all of that is really important that that ecosystem that I'm talking about,that we're building is easy for everybody to join, that it's seamless.We like to talk about frictionless adoption and you need to bring in a new supplier partner or new third party manufacturer to introduce some of these these new beverages. You really want them to be able to plug in to meet those data standards pretty readily. And for that to be really easy to get the visibility that you need because you're not dealing with a very vertical integrated supply chain.It's it's got Moatize tiers.And so we bring these additional partners, you have to say, oh, they're all going to have differences in different data.How do I publish that to this lake in an effective way that the others that are playing in the eco system can subscribe to that and get meaningful insights on what's happening?So I think that's a that's absolutely we're going to see more and more of that in our environment has got to be such that it's easy.As they join, we go,oh, yeah, we can get you plugged in. You can get the visibility.We can get you the forecast.We can get the transportation visibility that you need so we can see everything from order through deliberately,seamlessly as these new beverages and new partners are joining our ecosystem.Tom Raftery:
Just maybe not shoes.Jeff Markey:
I don't think...Tom Raftery:
You heard it here first, folks.Jeff Markey:
In the movie business over the years, snacks,just not shoes.Tom Raftery:
OK,I mean, to to track traceability right the way down through the supply chain. I mean,you talked about logistics.Um, you know,if if you're tracking as far as things flying off shelves.But how do you do that?Is it is it using things like IoT and edge computing?And how does all that work?Jeff Markey:
Yeah. That's a great point. That's certainly a key pain point in the system is really traceability. So from a track and trace and there's so much emphasis on that. Right. So you really want to be able to go all the way back up through your ingredients so that you can very rapidly see where everything's coming from, what went into this particular beverage in this particular country, at this location, so that the consumer is looking for that information?Or if there was an issue that you can really very quickly do that. So when you think about a digitised network supply chain delivery with efficiency and speed and has the kind of resiliency,that's certainly a pain point that it has to address.And so we've developed really effective roadmaps as a term that start with that in picture in mind and work back into how we saw that from the Track and trace perspective.And they sure that that's a key component of the programme contours deliveries that it delivers from a capability perspective. So that is a large challenge when you think about our.Two hundred countries,all the partners who we have in the multi-tier supply chain, where you have lots of different operations to get things to market.And so be able to follow that through rapidly and get that.So today we do a lot of heavy lifting to figure that out when we need to know that information.But tomorrow, the investments that we're making through these programmes and then this digital these platforms that I'm discussing,investment inbreed around our new S4 or the expectation we'll be able to do that at the speed of need.And so we've got I believe that we've got that really well covered.That was definitely one of the what problems you want to solve is I started our conversation.It was top of mind,regardless of geography.So as I heard from all of our whether it was in Central Europe or Western Europe or whether it was in Asia,Latin or the US,it was absolutely top of mind for anybody.We've got to be able to pull everything back from the shelf through the ingredients or from, you know, if you're ordering things direct to consumer.The same has to be the same capability needs to be there. So it's a huge challenge for sure.But I feel like our flexible environment that we're building with the publish subscribe models really be able to deliver that for us.Tom Raftery:
Interesting.One kind of question occurs? And that's I've had several con..., well I've had lots of conversations over you know, 70something podcasts at this point with lots of different customers, partners,exacts, etc..And in the last six to eight months in particular, there's there's been a huge uptake in digitisation projects.You know,there's this whole kind of meme.You see it on Twitter and LinkedIn cartoon of, you know, what kicked off your digitisation project and you got multiple checkboxes,you know, checkbox one is CEO, checkbox two as CIO, checkbox three is CFO and checkbox four, which is ticked is Covid-19.And was did this whole pandemic that we're going through have any influence on you going down this path, or did it affect plans you already had in place?Or you know going forward, would it affect any of your plans?Is or is it just completely "Oh that's happening as well"?Jeff Markey:
No.Huge implications for us.I'm sure that lots of folks have heard our chairman talk about how the impact to our way from home business when the pandemic hit and that that was about half of our business from a global perspective.So that was then retracted about half.So it was a pretty dramatic impact to what we're doing. In fact,we were really working at the time heading into that dramatically expanding our coffee portfolio through our Costa coffee acquisition.A lot of retail outlets, which all of a sudden nobody was going to go to based on what was happening. And so we had to quickly kind of pause and say, OK, we've got to rethink.And so for us,for for the digital transformation, the supply chain from a programme com to or from our our new S4 core that we've talked about today,they got back out the digital roadmap that we built. Right. And we said, OK, we're definitely on this journey.It's a multi-year journey.We're checking off the boxes.We're we're moving towards digitising these elements to help the Supply chain meet that total beverage strategy.But now the pandemic has caused things to shift.We need a lot more visibility, a lot quicker in terms of the shift in demand.And so as you start to go and you hear our chairman talked a lot about what type of recovery would be early on in the March, April,May timeframe, are we going to see more of a V shape? Is it more Howells shaved? Is it getting any really talked about kind of a W where it's more open and close, open and open and close from the Supply chain perspective?That's one of the most challenging situations because demand will really fluctuate a lot.When you have this and when borders are closing,it's more difficult to move things around.And so all that we were faced with, all those challenges that really said, look, we need much better visibility into demand.We need much more that will help us drive much better forecasting and try to get the right product in the right places where consumers are seeking them.There was also, if you can imagine, when everybody was kind of staying at home early on, you had a lot of increases in segments that we typically wouldn't see.So people were drinking more orange juice or more juice in general,more and more of our juices in the morning.So we saw this huge uptick in the juices and then there was the impact to the actual SDK use.So I repeat this.Instead of the immediate consumption, whether it was more of the Petey's and the 20 ounces that we were selling, it pivoted back towards cans in the refresh refrigerated back. And we were getting from the retail outlets and having shipped home.And so there was a packaging shift.There was a huge deal.There was a beverage shift as people were living in this different environment.And so it was very hard to see all that.So we quickly said,OK, some of these technologies that are on our roadmap, we need more now and can't wait for the new S4 core.And then I've described a very methodical,methodical process for digitising and transforming, and that helps me sleep at night to do it. So the pandemic certainly hasn't helped that because we've had to say, OK, this is aligned with our destination roadmap.So if you think about the forecast, the end of the demand and are our next generation sales or operation planning processes, we had to move more of those forward and then try to introduce some of these tools now which we've done, or to solve them with some of the existing tools that we have.But they will help us start to get some learnings and some visibility informing the more methodical roadmap that I'm on.So we pulled a number of we call them fast track items or pandemic response framework, but we've had a lot of terrific names for it to help us. And we've picked off probably a half a dozen of those really critical capabilities and brought that forward.And while obviously no one would ever ask for this to occur, it has really accelerated our learnings and it helps inform the the path that we're on because we're gaining some things that honestly we're going to come more slowly.And this has really just pushed our learnings. So kind of from a, hey, you've got to go figure this out. Now move some of this forward. It's like,wow, okay, we could do some stuff quicker than we thought. So we really gained some some learning. So like I said, you would never,you know, want this to happen. But the fact that it did.It's like, OK, what?How do we how do we adjust and shift and refocus priorities and what can we learn from this and really work hard to keep it in line with our roadmap right down? It wasn't about privatising that road map out is more about what capabilities do we need to put forward a more near-term to help us manage through the pandemic that are aligned to our destination?Right. So, for example,we're moving from the APO environment to the new IBP environment,and we already had our licences, but we hadn't stood up the environment yet. So it's like, hey,let's clean up the environment.I think it helps us manage some of these translations from what we sell back to the ingredients we get some visibility into.We actually did that pretty fast. We did it in less than three months.So we're pretty excited about that. It was very basic capability and it's pieces of the of where we're going.But, you know, we introduced the demands. It helped us do some scenario modelling.You know, if this market closes or these few that we can't deliver these. This one opens or then it opens and then closing again.You know, how can we model some of that?And it really helped us that we started giving a lot of learnings. And,you know, we did this early on in the pandemic in April, May timeframe.So it's been an amazing learning journey.So we had a lot of great things. This just accelerated our learnings,accelerated our thinking,accelerated our capability build out.So some some good things certainly have come come to it for the Coca-Cola Company.Tom Raftery:
Super.Super.Jeff, we have just gone over a 20 minute mark a couple of minutes ago.Is there anything I've not asked you that you think I should have?Is there any points we've not addressed that you think it's important that people be aware of?Jeff Markey:
Yeah, I appreciate that. Tom, I think probably the one.Kind of conceptually I didn't talk a lot about that as we introduce some of those final layers in that concentric circles, and you're really reaching the what I call the exponential component of the curve for value realisation for the investment that you've made and you're here. We've got machine learning. You've got artificial intelligence where it can really help you. You've got great visibility from shelf to ingredients. You're getting the right beverages to the right places at the right time, at the right price for the consumers as they want it.And you're doing all this at the speed of Neneh.It really we label that as true Supply chain orchestration at that point.So that's what that destination.I didn't talk a lot about that term.It certainly has been used throughout Supply chain discussions,but that's where we really see it. That orchestration allows us, if you can think about a conductor in the environment I talked to, the Coca-Cola ecosystem is very much disparate instruments that all can sound really bad.If there can be a cacophony of of not sounding good things,if they're not in sync or playing off different sheets of music.And there's more of that today arises in this orchestration.In this destination's,they have this multi-year transformation.You've got the technology acting really as the conductor to give all of those instruments and team members throughout the ecosystem flowing seamlessly.And as things like the pandemic or as new partners come in, as we've discussed, it can just absorb that into that pick up their instrument. And they joined the chorus and the conductor knows what to do and it seamlessly.And there's frictionless adoption there to bring them in. As you talked about, you know, new new players showing up,new beverages showing up, those kinds of things.So that orchestration comes as probably the one thing I did talk a little bit about. So I think that was good to get in there. Thanks for the question.Tom Raftery:
Sure, sure, sure, sure Jeff,if people want to know more about Jeff or the Coca-Cola Company or any other things we talked about today on the podcast,where would you have me direct them?Jeff Markey:
Well, I think first and foremost, the company's Web site is absolutely terrific. So just go to you can just search Coca-Cola,Coca-Cola Company,Coca-Cola, dot com.They'll all working,gets you to it and you'll you'll see a lot of what I'm talking about in terms of the total beverage strategy and what that portfolio looks like. And I think a lot of people be surprised at the breadth and depth of our of our beverage portfolio today, let alone where it's going to continue to go as we innovate.I think that's a wonderful place to go. And then if they want to know more about the Supply chain transformation, some of the specific tough topics I talked about say they can find me.Jeff Markey on LinkedIn is probably the easiest way I think I can.I can share and connect and answer further questions.That's a great way to get hold of me.Tom Raftery:
Super superb.Jeff that's been really,really great. Thanks a million for coming on the show today.Jeff Markey:
Thanks very much, Tom.I really enjoyed our time together. And as you can tell, I had a lot of passion, energy about this topic and then said, I've got to keep it up, as you know, to reach that destination.Thanks again.Speaker:
Thank you.OK, we've come to the end of the show.Thanks, everyone, for listening.If you'd like to know more about digital supply chains, head on over to SAP dot com slash digital supply chain or simply drop me an email to Tom Dot Raftery at SAP dot com.If you like to show.Please don't forget to subscribe to it in your podcast application of choice to get new episodes as soon as they're published.Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast. It really does help new people to find the show.Thanks.Catch you all next time.